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Old 09-30-2013, 02:59 PM   #1
starousse
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Leaving WDW to Cruise....Early Port Arrival?

Hi,
We're gonna be taking the DCL from the WL to the Dream. I would love to have an early port arrival. Is this possible if coming from WDW? Someone said that the DCL bus comes to get you around 1. Is that the only time? I really don't wanna arrive to ship at 4. Anybody in this situation?
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Old 09-30-2013, 03:03 PM   #2
mickeyfan0805
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How many people do you have travelling? I don't know much about Disney transport, but my understanding is the same as yours (that the buses all tend to arrive at that 12:30-1pm time). If you have 4 or more people travelling, however, there are car rental and private transport options that can be equally economical and give you a lot more options in regards to timing.
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Old 09-30-2013, 03:08 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starousse View Post
Hi,
We're gonna be taking the DCL from the WL to the Dream. I would love to have an early port arrival. Is this possible if coming from WDW? Someone said that the DCL bus comes to get you around 1. Is that the only time? I really don't wanna arrive to ship at 4. Anybody in this situation?
DCL transport from the WDW resorts usually picks up during the 11:30-12:30 window. Each bus may pick up at as many as 3 resorts, depending on how many people from each resort require transportation. There's no way of knowing whether your resort will be the first pick-up or last on any given run. They can't pick up any earlier as they are using the busses to transport people from the port to MCO/WDW. Typically the busses arrive at the port around 12:30-1:00. If you take DCL transportation from WDW to port, you will not arrive earlier than this.

What's your PAT?
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Old 09-30-2013, 03:22 PM   #4
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DCL transport from the WDW resorts usually picks up during the 11:30-12:30 window. Each bus may pick up at as many as 3 resorts, depending on how many people from each resort require transportation. There's no way of knowing whether your resort will be the first pick-up or last on any given run. They can't pick up any earlier as they are using the busses to transport people from the port to MCO/WDW. Typically the busses arrive at the port around 12:30-1:00. If you take DCL transportation from WDW to port, you will not arrive earlier than this.

What's your PAT?
Hi, I wasn't given a time yet, however I had planned on requesting an early port arrival. What happens if they give me an 11 arrival? Does that mean I can't take the DCL and would have to take a cab? We're a family of 4, so I may consider that. I didn't want to waste half the day sitting at the hotel until the afternoon waiting for the bus. I would've liked to get on the boat early, have lunch and look around.
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Old 09-30-2013, 03:24 PM   #5
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I would not wait. That's me. I'd be heading to port at the earliest time I could get there and board. Haven't boarded a ship after 12:00 noon in all of my 15+ cruises. That first day, is "Your first day" so you may as well get onboard and start enjoying. You paid for it!

Plus it's fun to be onboard and all situated having an umbrella drink, watching over the railing at the poor saps who are just arriving!!
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Old 09-30-2013, 03:31 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by starousse View Post
Hi, I wasn't given a time yet, however I had planned on requesting an early port arrival. What happens if they give me an 11 arrival? Does that mean I can't take the DCL and would have to take a cab? We're a family of 4, so I may consider that. I didn't want to waste half the day sitting at the hotel until the afternoon waiting for the bus. I would've liked to get on the boat early, have lunch and look around.
You select your PAT when you do your online checkin. Unless you are Concierge. Your PAT is tied to the actual boarding number you will receive at the port. Earlier PAT = lower boarding number; later PAT = higher boarding number.

Even if you select an earlier PAT than the DCL bus gets you to the port, you may take DCL transfers, if you wish. I will point out that the DCL transfers typically arrive after (or real close to) the Open Boarding call. That means boarding numbers are no longer needed, you will just board after you check in at the port.

Currently, PAT windows are in 15 minute increments beginning at 10:30 (10:30-10:45; 10:45-11:00; 11:00-11:15; etc). And boarding has been reported as beginning around 11:15, or so with Concierge guests, Platinum CC members and then by boarding numbers. The earliest you could be on would most likely be 11:30-11:45 (unless you are Concierge or Platinum).
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Old 09-30-2013, 03:35 PM   #7
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I would not wait. That's me. I'd be heading to port at the earliest time I could get there and board. Haven't boarded a ship after 12:00 noon in all of my 15+ cruises. That first day, is "Your first day" so you may as well get onboard and start enjoying. You paid for it!

Plus it's fun to be onboard and all situated having an umbrella drink, watching over the railing at the poor saps who are just arriving!!
That is my thought exactly. I'm trying to figure out if it's better to just take a car service from my hotel to the port and leave at 9 in the morning instead of taking the DCL transfer.
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Old 09-30-2013, 07:04 PM   #8
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We've taken DCL transfers from resorts to the port the two previous times we've cruised. I don't recall exactly what time we got into port, but I want to say it was after noon for sure. Definitely they were already into open boarding as we never had a boarding group or had to wait for a number.

If it's important to you to be on the ship in the morning then I would book your own transportation.
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Old 09-30-2013, 08:19 PM   #9
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I've taken DCL, private transfers and car rentals and I will say DCL was the latest. It was our first cruise so we did not know the difference but seeing everyone had been on-board eating, enjoying ship and filling up the pools a lot sooner then we got the chance changed my mind. And when I say filling up the pools, I mean sardines!!!!! Enterprise car rental is just pass the port. A days rental is inexpensive and they will drive you to the port when you drop off the car. We also use a port transfer van when we were a party of 8 and that was also easier. Every cruise now we arrive at 10-1030 and board group 3-5 by 1130. Past two cruises my kids were 1st in the pool and loved it and had Aquaduck to themselves for about 30 min. But if DCL is what you choose just relax and enjoy yourself, they play a fun movie to get you all excited on the way. Remember, the ship will be waiting for you!!!! Then the real vacation begins!!!!!
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Old 09-30-2013, 08:22 PM   #10
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Try Murray Hill Transportation out of Orlando or stay close to the airport for DCL transfers ...maybe Hyatt? You can also do one-way car rental - National and Alamo are right on property. Murray Hill will give you a good rate though. HTH
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Old 09-30-2013, 08:37 PM   #11
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Used DCL transfer from WL to Dream two weeks ago. Bus picked us up at 11:30, then made 2 stops at other resorts before heading to port. By the time we got thru security line and check-in line our boarding time had already been called so we walked on to ship. At by this time we could access our stateroom. I think we were in our stateroom at 1:30 pm-ish. Still plenty of time to check out the ship before mandatory lifeboat drill. Tip** if you can use the aft or forward elevators at this time to access your stateroom, as there was a HUGE line for the midship elevators. Enjoy your trip to Wdw and the cruise.
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Old 09-30-2013, 09:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aligator View Post
Used DCL transfer from WL to Dream two weeks ago. Bus picked us up at 11:30, then made 2 stops at other resorts before heading to port. By the time we got thru security line and check-in line our boarding time had already been called so we walked on to ship. At by this time we could access our stateroom. I think we were in our stateroom at 1:30 pm-ish. Still plenty of time to check out the ship before mandatory lifeboat drill. Tip** if you can use the aft or forward elevators at this time to access your stateroom, as there was a HUGE line for the midship elevators. Enjoy your trip to Wdw and the cruise.
What time did they pick up ur luggage to take to the ship please?
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Old 09-30-2013, 09:56 PM   #13
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What time did they pick up ur luggage to take to the ship please?
Luggage from the WDW resorts is typically picked up between 8:00-8:30 am and trucked separately to the ship.
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Old 10-01-2013, 09:53 AM   #14
starousse
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Used DCL transfer from WL to Dream two weeks ago. Bus picked us up at 11:30, then made 2 stops at other resorts before heading to port. By the time we got thru security line and check-in line our boarding time had already been called so we walked on to ship. At by this time we could access our stateroom. I think we were in our stateroom at 1:30 pm-ish. Still plenty of time to check out the ship before mandatory lifeboat drill. Tip** if you can use the aft or forward elevators at this time to access your stateroom, as there was a HUGE line for the midship elevators. Enjoy your trip to Wdw and the cruise.
Oh ok, that's not too bad then. Did you guys get still get to eat lunch and check out the ship? I just didn't wanna get to the ship at 3 or 4.
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Old 10-01-2013, 11:11 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by aligator View Post
Used DCL transfer from WL to Dream two weeks ago. Bus picked us up at 11:30, then made 2 stops at other resorts before heading to port. By the time we got thru security line and check-in line our boarding time had already been called so we walked on to ship. At by this time we could access our stateroom. I think we were in our stateroom at 1:30 pm-ish. Still plenty of time to check out the ship before mandatory lifeboat drill.
Same experience until feeling like we had time. We never felt that we had time to check out the ship. We felt rushed the whole cruise.

Didn't help that the instant DH felt like we could relax, DS (who knew the expectation that he play for a few hours there) and cousin conspired to leave the club to play at the arcade and started calling parents to pick them up. DS got picked up but he sooooo did not get to go to the arcade.

We felt "behind" the whole cruise, despite getting onboard about the same time you did. I won't take dcl buses from wdw in the future.

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Luggage from the WDW resorts is typically picked up between 8:00-8:30 am and trucked separately to the ship.
They told us between 8 and 10 fwiw. Got there just after 8.
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